EPA Launches Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators in CT, PA, NJ, and WI

Today (1/27), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a new initiative, the Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators, to push the country closer to the Biden administration’s goal of removing 100% of the lead service lines throughout the U.S. According to the Agency’s news release, the program “will provide targeted technical assistance services to help underserved communities access funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and replace lead pipes that pose risks to the health of children and families.” The initiative is a partnership with the Department of Labor (DOL) and four states: Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. EPA and its partners will work with 40 communities across the four states in 2023. The Accelerators are being announced on the one-year anniversary of the Agency’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan.

Through the Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators, the Agency and its partners will provide hands-on support in developing lead service line (LSL) replacement plans, conducting LSL inventories, increasing community outreach and education efforts, and supporting applications for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding. $15 billion from BIL is dedicated solely to LSL replacement and associated activities. Through the Accelerators initiative, EPA plans to support Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin in strategically deploying BIL funding for LSL replacements. Through this work, EPA plans to “[develop] best practices and creative approaches that can serve as a roadmap for the rest of the country.” Additionally, EPA and DOL will collaborate to “provide tools aimed at increasing job quality standards, equity, and resources to accelerate the development of the skilled water workforce needed to undertake these community and system-wide lead service line replacement programs.” A corresponding fact sheet about the initiative is available online.

ASDWA has been providing states and water systems tools and resources for the past year to help them meet the October 16, 2024 deadline for initial inventories. A year ago, ASDWA published the State Implementation Framework for Lead Service Line Inventory Requirements under EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR). ASDWA is currently halfway through hosting a series of six free webinars to further assist states and water systems with lead service line inventories and replacements and also hosted a series of eight webinars a year ago.